In healthy schools, students, staff work together for safety
While I would not endorse the specific program that was the subject of The Sun's article "The rising price of school safety" (Feb. 17) without knowing more about it, the article did very little to analyze either the program or the problems that brought it about.
It also did not provide any insight into how a large, diverse, comprehensive high school maintains a safe environment conducive to student learning.
The article's employment of pejorative terms such as "snitch" and "narc" perpetuates an image of high schools as divided into hostile camps of adult and adolescent adversaries, with staff and student roles analogous to prison guards and inmates.
In a functional school, staff and students understand that they are members of a community.
Information about weapons, drugs, stolen items and fights is often brought to the attention of adults by students, who understand that they, too, have a responsibility to maintain a safe school. They trust the administration and faculty to use the information to provide such a setting.
The Sun's readers would have been better served if the article had explained why Westminster High School's Student Government Association offered to use its funds as rewards and examined how a safe environment is maintained in a high school such as Westminster's.
Joseph A. Schmitz
The writer is an assistant principal at Edgewood High School.
Balto. Co. should replace its school board president
Because of its secret meetings and rubber-stamping of the superintendent's wishes, I have never had much respect for the Baltimore County school board.
But with The Sun's article stating that board president Donald Arnold sends his children to private schools, my opinion of that organization has reached its nadir ("Public office, private schools," Feb. 19).
Mr. Arnold should resign from the board and be replaced by someone who has confidence in the Baltimore County school system.
Abolishing the SAT gives poor students better chance
Hats off to University of California President Richard Atkinson: The billion-dollar industry that is the SAT allows students at the higher end of the economic continuum endless tutoring and preparation, while other students must try to solve the test on their own ("U. of Calif. President seeks to drop SAT," Feb. 18).
Perhaps if other university presidents make similar proposals the playing field will become more even.
Ralph L. Sapia
Welch's reappointment shows lax standards for politicians
Ya' gotta love politicians: William A. Welch Jr., convicted last year of firing a handgun in an election dispute, has been reappointed to the Baltimore Liquor Board ("Welch kept on liquor board despite handgun conviction," Feb. 17).
Gov. Parris N. Glendening honored the request of West Baltimore Sen. Clarence Blount to reappoint the son of West Baltimore Councilwoman Agnes B. Welch.
If Mr. Welch had been a resident of public housing in Baltimore, he and anyone living with him would have been immediately evicted because of his crime.
In this case, Mr. Welch benefits from political favoritism and patronage and returns to his job. Mr. Blount says, "I judge him merely on his ability to do the job."
How about using the same reasoning for public housing residents?
Public money is used to subsidize these residents and to pay Mr. Welch. Why isn't he held to the same standard?
Richard P. Doran
Tax cuts should go to those who pay the nation's bills
In The Sun's article "President urges voters to speak up for tax cut" (Feb. 18), Democrats contend that President Bush's plan is unfair to lower-wage earners and gives too much help to the rich.
Yet The Sun's article "Bush presents $1.6 trillion tax cut plan" (Feb. 6) points out that 70 percent of taxpayers are in the lowest bracket and contribute only 15 percent of total income taxes, while the top 1 percent contribute more than 20 percent.
If Mr. Bush's plan is to be turned into another Democratic entitlement program, call it that and continue to push for more money to the poor. If it is a tax cut, give it to the people paying the taxes and bearing the burden for America's strength and prosperity.
What would Congress gain from Bush's tax cuts?
Amid all the various computations of who benefits and how much in the latest tax-cutting frenzy, the one I would really like to see is how much the average congressperson stands to benefit from President Bush's soak-the-poor tax bonanza.
I'll bet it's a whole bunch more than the "average working American" will ever get his or her mitts on.
Greater love hath no man than the Republican Party hath for the wealthy.
But has it never occurred to them that without society there would be no such thing as wealth at all?
Tale of illegitimacy was unfit for wedding section